Workforce-planning in the healthcare system is becoming a politically charged issue in many countries due to a looming shortage of various health professional groups and the subsequent costs and liabilities to governments hoping to generate improvements and efficiencies. In 2010 the World Health Organization (2010) released Models and tools for countries' health experiences workforce planning and projections in an attempt to optimise the sharing of and best practices worldwide. Subsequently, both developing and developed nations are attempting to establish more sophisticated approaches to workforce-planning at national and regional levels (DalPoz, Gupta, Quain & Soucat, 2009; Dussau lt, Buchan, Sermeus & Padaiga, 2010; Lacerda, Caul Liraux, Spiegel & Neto, 2013). The policy direction on health workforce sustainability set out in the World Health Organization's (2008) code on international recruitment of health workers recommends countries aim for workforce self-sufficiency with regard to workforce-planning. This requires a defined population base, such as a region or country, to facilitate the ongoing production of health workers at a volume sufficient to meet its own healthcare needs. Australia has made policy statements about the desirability of health workforce self-sufficiency (Productivity Commission, 2005), but the evidence shows that it falls far short of this measure and continues to actively recruit health professionals from developing nations (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014c). There is need for wider discussion, involving not just health professionals but the entire community, about what is required of a health system, its workforce capacity and its budget (Buchan, Naccarella & Brooks, 2011). This chapter discusses the principles, practices and pitfalls of workforce-planning in the healthcare sector, giving particular emphasis to the Australian perspective.
Leading and Managing Health Services: An Australasian Perspective
Health and Community Services